3-Ingredient Coffee Sorbet: the No-Churn, Easy Recipe for a Creamy Espresso Dessert!

Total time: 10 min prep/ freeze
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 2-4
By Cookist

Are you craving a cool, refreshing way to indulge in your coffee love? Look no further than this incredibly simple 3-ingredient Coffee Sorbet! This vibrant and flavorful frozen treat is the perfect way to cap off a summer dinner or to get your afternoon caffeine kick. Unlike its creamier cousin, ice cream, sorbet boasts a lighter, airier texture thanks to the absence of eggs and a minimal amount of dairy (we're just using a touch of whipped cream here!). No fancy equipment is required—just a pot, a whisk, and your trusty freezer will do the trick! Strong brewed espresso adds a bold coffee punch, balanced by the sweetness of sugar and a touch of whipped cream. In minutes, you'll be scooping up spoonfuls of this delicious 3-ingredient wonder—the perfect dessert for any coffee lover or anyone seeking a cool and satisfying summer treat!

What is Coffee Sorbet?

Sorbet is considered the ancestor of modern ice cream. The word "sorbet" comes from the Arabic word "sharbat," which means "a drink." Coffee sorbet is a vibrant and flavorful frozen dessert with a lighter, airier texture compared to ice cream. It achieves this by relying on water and sugar for its base, instead of milk or eggs. This makes it a perfect option for those seeking a dairy-free or lighter dessert option.

The concept behind sorbet likely originated in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran) where people combined snow or ice with fruit juices, honey, or sugar to create a refreshing treat. This idea traveled along trade routes, reaching places like ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, where it became a luxurious treat for the wealthy due to the scarcity of ice. Fast forward to the Renaissance period in Italy, where chefs began experimenting with new sorbet flavors, including coffee. Italy became famous for its high-quality sorbets, and coffee sorbet established itself as a popular choice among coffee lovers.

In some regions, particularly Sicily, sorbet is enjoyed as a palate cleanser between courses during a meal. This recipe takes inspiration from the classic coffee sorbet, offering a quick and easy way to enjoy this tasty dessert at home. With just sugar, espresso, and whipping cream, you can whip up a batch in minutes, proving that delicious doesn't have to be complicated!


  • For the most vibrant coffee flavor, use freshly brewed espresso. You can also use instant coffee in a pinch. Use decaffeinated coffee for those who are sensitive to caffeine.
  • Don't skimp on the coffee strength! A strong espresso base translates to a more robust coffee flavor in the sorbet.
  • Let your brewed espresso cool completely before adding it to the sugar syrup. This prevents the sugar from caramelizing.
  • Granulated sugar works best in this recipe, but feel free to experiment with brown sugar for a deeper caramel note (adjust the quantity slightly as brown sugar is sweeter).
  • Make sure the sugar dissolves entirely in the water before adding the espresso. This prevents icy crystals in your sorbet.
  • This recipe is a fantastic base for exploration! Add a splash of liqueur like Kahlua or Baileys for an adult twist, or fold in chopped chocolate or nuts for extra texture and flavor dimension.

Can I Use Instant Coffee Instead Of Espresso?

While instant coffee can work in a pinch, it might result in a slightly weaker coffee flavor and potentially a touch of bitterness. Freshly brewed espresso is highly recommended for the most vibrant coffee taste.

Do I Need An Ice Cream Maker For This Recipe?

No ice cream maker is required! Freezing and occasional mixing will achieve a better sorbet texture.

My Sorbet Is Icy – What Can I Do?

Make sure the sugar dissolves completely in the water before adding the espresso. Undissolved sugar can lead to ice crystals. Second, consider the freezing time. Ideally, the sorbet should freeze for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, for a smooth texture.

Can I Make This Recipe Vegan?

While the recipe uses whipping cream, you can achieve a vegan version by substituting it with a similar amount of chilled full-fat coconut milk. Keep in mind the texture might be slightly different, but it will still be a delicious and refreshing coffee treat.

How Can I Customize The Flavor?

Here are some ideas:

  • Add a splash of your favorite coffee liqueur like Kahlua or Baileys for an adult-only twist.
  • Fold in chopped dark chocolate or cocoa nibs for a indulgent coffee-chocolate combination.
  • Add chopped nuts like almonds or hazelnuts for an extra textural element.

More Fresh Coffee Desserts for Your Summer

Coffee Whipped Cream

Coffee Mousse

Cold Brew Coffee

Coffee Ice Cream

3-Ingredient Coffee Ganache

How to Store 3-Ingredient Coffee Sorbet

When stored properly in an airtight container, the coffee sorbet can stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months.


200ml (3/4 cup)
150g (3/4 cup)
espresso coffee
150ml (3/4 cup)
Whipping cream
100ml (1/2 cup)

How To Make 3-Ingredient Coffee Sorbet

In a saucepan, combine water and sugar.

Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Once the sugar syrup is cool, stir in the brewed espresso.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

After chilling, fold in the whipped cream until just combined.

Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

After two hours, remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture to break the ice crystals. Transfer to the freezer for another 2 hours. Repeat the process one more time.

When ready to serve, let the sorbet soften slightly at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop to portion the sorbet into bowls and enjoy!

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